Russian tennis star Aslan Karatsev admitted he was a bit nervous toward the end of his Marseille match against Holger Rune but he was glad that he was able to get the job done in straight sets. Karatsev, seeded at No. 4, defeated Rune 6-3 7-6 (1) in the Marseille round-of-16.
Karatsev failed to serve out for the match in the 10th game of the second but won the tie-break to escape with a straight-set win. "I started pretty well at the opening of the match but in the second set I got a bit tight at 5-4," Karatsev said after the win, as quoted on the ATP website.
"I was nervous but I'm really happy to finish the match in two sets."
Karatsev progresses into the quarterfinal
Karatsev saved a break point in the opening game of the match but also failed to convert any of his four break points in the following game.
Rune had two break points in the seventh game but failed to convert. Rune paid the price for blowing two break points as Karatsev claimed the first break of the match in the eighth game and served out for the first set in the following game.
Karatsev failed to convert any of his two break points in the seventh game of the second set but broke Rune two games later to take a 5-4 lead. Karatsev's hand got tight when he was serving for the match as Rune broke back to level the set at five games apiece.
Rune served out the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and then had four set points but Karatsev managed to save those set points and force a tie-break. Rune never recovered from blowing four set points as Karatsev took an early 3-0 lead in the tie-break.
Rune won the fourth point to reduce the deficit to 3-1 in the tie-break but Karatsev then won the following four points to book a straight-set win. Karatsev plays next either Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Benjamin Bonzi. Karatsev, 28, is having his first appearance in Marseille. It remains to be seen if Karatsev can win it all in Marseille this week.